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Properly implemented Color Management is the key to predictable, reliable color and accurate B&W throughout every stage of the digital imaging process ~ digital capture, scanning, monitor display, editing, output and final presentation.
We have extensive experience managing color so monitor, print, proof and final product match in terms of color and luminosity. We also specialize in B&W and Monochrome workflows. Whatever your color challenge, we have a cost effective solution.
For accurate viewing of the images in my photo gallery your monitor should be adjusted so all 21 steps in the image below are distinctly visible (the two darkest squares will be very close, but separation should still be visible upon close examination). Ideally, all squares will appear completely neutral, your monitor will be calibrated to a color temperature between 5000K and 5500K, your gamma set to 2.2 (windows standard), and luminance around 90 cd/m2 (certainly below 100). Monitors which are set to a super contrasty, bluish bright, factory setting will probably show my gallery images with blown out highlights and washed out colors.
If you cannot see separation in all 21 steps, images displayed on your monitor will probably look too light or dark and not as originally intended.
If you would like to learn more about monitor calibration and profiling, please feel free to download my article on the subject.
Introduction to Color Management
We've all seen a bank of TV's tuned to the same signal, and yet the colors, contrast and brightness are different from one to the next. Or, two printed photos or brochures generated from the same file, yet they don't match. Or your print not matching what you see on the monitor. Color Management addresses these inconsistencies.
Color management is a methodology for assuring consistency, repeatability and accuracy throughout every stage of the digital imaging process ~ image capture, monitor display, editing, file preparation and final output, whether sent to a printing press, inkjet, laster, digital press, photo processor or other device.
Unfortunately, the Internet is not color managed (with few exceptions), so websites and images can look very different from one computer to the next. Thankfully, this is not the case in the world of print, or even on individual work stations.
To learn more, read our article, download Introduction to Color Management.
Monitor & Printer Profiling
Accurate monitor and printer profiles are the keys to accurate, reliable, predictable color. Monitor and printer vendors supply 'generic' profiles with their products, but they only get you close. For accurate color, you need custom profiles that describe your monitor and your printer/paper/ink combination. Not only that, monitors 'drift' and need regular recalibration and profiling.
DinaGraphics offers custom inkjet printer profiles by mail for $50 for each printer/paper/ink combination. For every paper we profile, you receive one or more custom profiles. We also are happy to visit your site to implement a complete color management solution.
To learn more about monitor and printer profiling, download and read our article, Creating Monitor and Printer Profiles. We look forward to hearing from you.
Printer Profiling Targets
I currently use 1728 patch RGB profiling targets for my custom inkjet profiles. Simply printing targets without establishing the best driver or RIP settings will not guarantee a good profile (please read my article on Monitor & Printer Profiling).
Please feel free to download these targets (click link, then Save). The ZIP file contains instructions, my preliminary test target to help establish proper driver settings, and profiling targets designed for printing on A4/letter, 11X17, and 17X22 paper (four A4/letter, two 11X17, or one 17x22 sheet required). The targets are formatted for strip reading with an Eye One Pro Spectrophotometer. When you have downloaded the file to your desktop or folder, double click to unzip the file for access to the files.
Be sure to follow the detailed instructions in my article on Monitor & Printer Profiling.
Photography (which means....writing with "light" or "photons") is an exciting medium that continues to evolve, both technologically and artistically. More than ever, the creative aspects of photography are accessible to those who seek a rewarding means of expression.
For those interested in learning the elements of Photography, I have written a basic Primer on the subject. It is not meant to be comprehensive or all encompassing, but it does cover many of the basic elements of photography in some depth, and will help the novice or intermediate level photographer improve his/her results. Whether you own a simple "point & shoot" digicam, a film camera, a sophisticated digital SLR or a large format camera, this primer can help many people compose and take better pictures.
Although "color management" is minimally discussed in this Primer, it was the best place to locate such a document on my website. After all, managing color and tonality are critical throughout every phase of the photographic process (whether film or digital). And obtaining a correct exposure and an effective composition is where it all starts.
Please feel free to download and share this link with others. I hope you find it clear, useful and informative.
Happy shooting!! ~ Lou Dina
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